Few, if any regions in America, are more associated with wine and wine growing than Northern California. It is here that John Steinbeck sets his immortal novel The Grapes of Wrath, after all, with the Joad family traveling to and ultimately picking grapes. It is here that you will find the nationally-famous “Napa Valley” region as well, home to some of the most esteemed and best-loved wines produced in the entire nation. Moreover, Northern California is simply ideal for wine growing. The state overall has much the same Mediterranean climate as do Old World wine titans like Spain, France, and Italy, while remaining cool and temperate enough to provide optimal growing conditions.
So what should you expect from the best California wine?
One of the most important things to take into consideration when selecting any wine is the region in which it is grown. After all, champagne is not technically “champagne” unless it is grown and cultivated within the official Champagne region itself. Likewise, the best California wine tends to come from the areas of Northern California we most commonly associate with wine growing, especially the aforementioned Napa. For consistent prestige and quality, Napa truly is one of the best bets in the entire American wine industry. Outside of that, Sonoma is another popular, typically far less costly option, while Central California wines, while not as famed as their Northern counterparts, can certainly have their charm.
Reds and Whites
California tends to produce beautifully-sweet, potent, and all-around refreshing red wine options. These reds, like so many of their best counterparts around the world, tend to be hardier and can age well over time. White wines are naturally more delicate, and are not the sort of thing you want to buy from just anywhere. Even so, for Napa especially, the best California wine does indeed include a crisp, dry bottle of white here and there.